As Congress wraps up one of the last weeks of business before Election Day, I am urging my Republican colleagues to stop playing games and bring a Farm Bill to the House floor.
We have to stop kicking the can down the road. It's our responsibility to take a real look at our farm programs, reform what is not working, end huge taxpayer subsidies that distort the market and do not help family farmers, and pass a food and farm bill for the 21st century.
Republican leadership has refused to bring a Farm Bill to the House floor, despite the bill moving through the House Agriculture Committee on July 11. Prior to that, the Senate passed their farm bill on June 21, with enough time for the House to take up the legislation before programs are set to expire on September 30, 2012.
The Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program, which since the 2008 Farm Bill has compensated dairy producers when domestic milk prices have fallen below a specific level, is also set to expire this month. Expiration of this program leaves Wisconsin's 12,000 dairy farmers vulnerable to future price shocks.
Our family farmers deserve a Farm Bill that provides the resources they depend on. Following the worst drought we've seen in decades, we must give our farmers emergency assistance where necessary and provide them with the certainty they need in planning their operations. It's time for Republicans to bring the Farm Bill to the House floor.
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